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SF approves agreement for Caltrain electrification

After a one week postponement, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Monday an agreement to spend $20 million more than anticipated on Caltrain’s electrification project.

The vote was postponed from last week after board members expressed concerns about the lack of oversight of the project.

But the agreement, which is among seven area transit agencies, was amended Monday to include new oversight provisions. The board unanimously approved the amended agreement.

The project, called the Early Investment Program, includes electrification of the Caltrain line between San Jose and San Francisco, improvements to signals and purchase of electrical trains.

“The program will modernize the corridor, reduce train-related emissions by up to 90 percent, provide faster and increased service to more stations, and prepare the Caltrain system for shared use with high-speed rail,” the agreement said.

“I look forward to San Francisco continuing to play a role as the Caltrain electrification project evolves in making sure that we do that within our means,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

“At the heart of it was just to make sure that San Francisco was going to be able handle whatever was going to come our way in the future regarding Caltrain and their project,” Supervisor Katy Tang said.

Oversight added includes a dashboard monitoring the project, required notification if cost overruns exceed $250,000, and authority for city officials to audit the project.

The City will now contribute $80 million to the project, $20 million more than anticipated, after costs increased by $755 million from the 2008 estimate of $1.456 billion. Aaron PeskinBoard of SupervisorsCaltrainKaty TangPoliticsSan Francisco

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